Habits that Might Be Increasing Your Risk of Skin Cancer

April 22, 2019

Habits that Might Be Increasing Your Risk of Skin Cancer

We’ve all been told that going out in the sun without sunblock could give us skin cancer. And we were warned by Dr. Lin that spending a little too much time on tanning beds can make us more likely to get the disease. While unprotected and prolonged exposure to UV rays can definitely make you more likely to get skin cancer, there are other factors that can increase the risk just as much. We’ll be going past the obvious ones to share with you some of the more surprising habits that actually contribute to increasing the risk of skin cancer.

Many people fancy having a pint of beer or a glass of wine as a night cap after a busy work day. However, Americans should be wary that consuming alcohol on a regular basis has been associated with two types of non-melanoma skin cancer. Research shows that for every 10 grams of alcohol each day, the risk of basal cell carcinoma increases by 7%. For that same amount of alcohol, the risk of squamous cell carcinoma increases by 11%. A standard drink in the U.S. contains around 14 grams of alcohol.

Using lip gloss or high-shine lipstick can increase the chances of skin cancer. The gloss works the same way baby oil does, and becomes a magnet for UV rays that can easily damage your skin. People should protect their lips through using lip balms with SPF 15 or higher. Our lips have almost no melanin so they need constant protection from the sun.

Another surprising cause of the disease is through frequent flying. People who fly often are more likely to contract skin cancer, with pilots and flight attendants twice as likely to get skin cancers like melanoma. Based on the results of a study conducted by the University of California this is because the higher the elevation, the more intense the UV radiation becomes and the more harmful it is for our skin. If you are about to board an airplane, remember to apply sunblock, especially if you have a window seat. 

New studies have proven that the prevalence of skin cancer has been on the rise. Allure discussed how skin cancer is now the third-leading diagnosed cancer in women under the age of 49. What’s worse is that in the last 30 years, more people have been diagnosed with skin cancer than all other different kinds of cancers combined. 

Even with the prevalence of the disease, skin cancer treatment still remains expensive. This results in many patients not being able to afford to pay for treatment. ‘An Analysis of Medicare Payment Data’ published in 2016 compared the prices of skin cancer treatment over a five year gap. In 2006, the average cost of treatment amounted to $1,000. In 2011, it made a dramatic jump to $1,600. The prices have no doubt go up again since 2011, which is in line with the huge growing pains in the U.S. healthcare industry and shortage of specialist staff. In Maryville University’s overview of the U.S. healthcare industry they detailed how it is expected to grow by 18% in the next 7 years. This means that while the healthcare industry continues to grow, more and more people cannot afford to benefit from it. Given the expensive treatment of skin cancer, knowledge and prevention is the best way to ensure that you don’t end up with huge medical bills. 


Health Story Feature written by Jean Benedict for the exclusive use of drlinskincare.com


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